On April 16, SBA announced that they are no longer accepting new applications for the Paycheck Protection Program and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan, leaving many small business owners in the dust. After 13 days of dispersing funds to hundreds of thousands of business owners across the country, the relief fund of $349 billion has run dry. It's possible the PPP will re-open at some point.
So what can you do right now? I recommend these 3 things:
Pre-apply for the PPP
According to recent research, there are approximately 800,000+ applications waiting to be processed once the PPP opens up again.
If you want to be first in line once the PPP opens, I recommend getting your application in order today and submitting it to a PPP lender. It seems that the smaller community banks are handling PPP loan applications faster than big banks. I recommend reaching out to the financial institutions you’re already a member of first to see if they’re an SBA approved lender.
When I found out restaurants in my state were only allowed to accommodate take-out and delivery, we had to come up with alternative plans so not to lay off or furlough our employees.
That's when we came up with several different programs our restaurant could offer to do just that AND help those on the frontline. We created the 'Adopt a Doc or Nurse Program'. We also fast-tracked our mobile app, online ordering, e-gift card launch in the rise for contactless and convenient ordering.
Explore alternative funding
If you don’t qualify for the PPP but still need cash flow to keep your operations going, here are resources I recommend looking into.
Support from government
The Save Small Business fund
This is a grant made available by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and supporting partner companies. It provides $5,000 to small businesses with 3–20 employees.
The employee retention tax credit
You can be eligible for payroll tax credits if you keep your employees on payroll, if you paid COVID-19-related sick leave for employees, or if you had to suspend operations.
The Express Bridge Loan
You can borrow up to $25,000 for disaster-related purposes from a lender you have an existing banking relationship with.
Support from large businesses
Many large companies have stepped up with resources and funding for small businesses affected by COVID-19.
Facebook Small Business Grants Program
Facebook is providing cash grants and ad credit to small businesses with 2–50 employees.
Google Ad Credits for Small and Medium-sized Businesses
Google is providing ad credits to small and medium businesses that advertised on Google in 2019. Credits will be added automatically.
Salesforce Care Small Businesses Grant
$10,000 grants for small businesses. Applications not yet open.
There are many region-specific supports and resources offering emergency funding. Check your local chamber of commerce, economic development office, or nonprofit for relief programs. If your business is located in OKC, you may qualify for forgivable loans up to $50,000 through the state of Oklahoma: https://www.okc.gov/Home/Components/News/News/3357/18
Support for your industry
Your industry organization may offer grants and specialized support. Here are a few active funding sources:
Restaurant Employee Relief Fund
The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation is providing grants of up to $500 for impacted employees. Food delivery workers (such as those who work with Uber Eats and Doordash) are eligible.
The Photographer Fund
This fund is providing up to $500 in grants to impacted photographers.
CERF+ Emergency AssistanceUp to $3,000 in grants to established artists working in a craft discipline.
Support for self-employed individuals
Federal Stimulus Checks
The federal government is providing up to $1,200 to eligible individuals. You can check the status of your payment at the IRS Get My Payment site.
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance
Self-employed individuals and independent contractors are eligible for unemployment benefits if they find themselves unemployed, partially unemployed, or unable to work due to COVID-19. Visit your state’s Department of Labor site to apply.
Freelancers Relief Fund
Up to $1,000 in grants for freelancers experiencing financial or health hardship as a result of COVID-19. **Applications are temporarily closed**.
Banks, merchant processors, and other private lenders may offer lines of credit or other lending options. But the terms won’t be as favorable as the PPP and EIDL. One other thing: some of the below offers may have been changed due to COVID-19.
Business line of credit
A line of credit is more flexible than a bank loan, and usually cheaper too.
Business credit cardUsing a credit card to float your business is usually a bad idea. However, some business credit cards offer 0% interest for the first year.